Michael Merton notched his 3,000th career-winning drive at Monticello Raceway on Thursday (Jan. 18). The milestone win came aboard Armor Hanover in the seventh race. The 9-year-old SJ’S Caviar gelding won by seven lengths in 1:57.2 and is owned and trained by Doug Berkeley of Montgomery, NY.
Merton hails from a family that has been deeply embedded at Monticello Raceway since its inception in 1958. He started his career driving as an amateur, then received his P license in 1991. Merton and his brother Greg have been mainstays in the Monticello Raceway backstretch and driving colony for decades.
Last year (2017) was a banner year for Merton as he drove 257 winners and amassed a personal best of $1,150,003 in yearly purses earned; his career earnings are a respectable $10,628,662.
Merton was greeted in the winner’s circle by many of his fellow horseman, family member and well-wishers.
Wasting no time, Merton won the final race of the card with Ideal Candidate, setting his sites on 4,000. (Monticello)